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COVID-19: Invest now in cash/voucher-social protection scale-up or children pay the price later

25 June 2020 — By Dr. Kathryn Taetzsch

Read the article here.

Only socially accountable Social Protection Assistance beyond humanitarian cash/voucher programmes – if properly and quickly implemented – will protect generations of children from the aftershocks of COVID-19.

Despite cash and voucher transfers becoming the tool of choice of social protection scale-up called for by UNSG as part of the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) over recent months, it seems there has been little thought given to how social assistance and humanitarian cash/voucher transfers are programmed in complementarity; how to effectively support all the most vulnerable people in a timely and quality service-fashion. The World Bank estimates that Cash/voucher transfers account for over 50% of Government social protection mechanisms during the current crisis; reports indicate that 190 countries scaled up existing social protection, especially social assistance transfer programmes, in response to the pandemic.

Still, there are substantive challenges of targeting, inclusion/ exclusion, adaptive and agile delivery and access to quality services. How can we address these gaps in effectively reaching most vulnerable? The document provides some insights, and refers to WVI’s most recent experiences in MPCA and Social Protection Transfers with building further on digital and financial and citizen empowerment.